SAM Rose says under 18s can be ‘proud’ of their performance against Sunderland, despite it ending in a 4-1 defeat for the Brewers in the FA Youth Cup third round on Thursday night.Burton did take an early lead through Charlie Dowd in the third minute, but they were unable to hold on and overcome the Black Cats’ side which contained strikers Joel Asoro and Josh Maja, who had been on the first team bench for Sunderland in their game against Chelsea just 24 hours earlier.
Rose said that he was proud of his team’s spirited performance, and believes that playing against such calibre of opposition will benefit his team in the long run.
“I think overall we have got to be pleased with what the lads were able to do tonight in terms of the performance they put in. We did a fair bit of work in terms of what we could expect from Sunderland, they are a very good side, a Premier League under 18s side who are used to playing the likes of Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City week to week.
“I think the lads should hold their heads high and be really proud of their performance tonight because I think we matched Sunderland in lots of different areas. You might say that three of the goals were unfortunate, there was a freak own-goal (From Luke Tandy) which turned the game on its head, we might have been unlucky not to score a second goal, but overall we can be pretty pleased with the effort of the players tonight.
“For our boys, it should be a dream come true to feature against players who are regarded so highly and featured in the matchday squad in the Premier League. It is something that they will hopefully look back on fondly and hopefully there will be more of that in the future.
“We want to play against good sides and we want to play in matches that are really going to test our players because that is what it going to help us develop.”
First team manager Nigel Clough was also present at the game as he cast his eye over the next generation of Burton Albion players, who will next be in action when they travel to Lincoln on Saturday to face Lincoln City in the Youth Alliance.